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Pound Seizure Law in Utah

Pound seizures ยป HB107 would make dog, cat transfers to research institutions optional.
When Dan Alix returned to his Salt Lake City home from a short vacation 18 months ago, he found the family's cherished beagle, 16-year-old Chance, had run away.

After a frantic search through shelters around the Salt Lake Valley, Chance turned up in a kennel at the Midvale Animal Shelter, still wearing his collar and identifying tags. An irate Alix confronted shelter staffers, wondering why they hadn't called him.

``They said, `We don't have time. We're too busy for that,' '' Alix said.

The Avenues resident has been asked to testify in favor of HB107, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake City, which would alter rules for handling animals once they are left at Utah's 80 or so public shelters.

The bill, now awaiting a hearing before the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee, targets the state's pound seizure law, which requires publicly funded shelters to hand over animals to research and educational institutions.

Only Utah and Minnesota have laws requiring shelters to surrender dogs and cats for research purposes. The University of Utah currently is the only institution certified for pound seizures, and it receives about 150 to 200 dogs and cats yearly under the statute, from shelters outside the Salt Lake Valley.

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